On a sun-kissed afternoon, the delightful breeze transformed the weather into an ideal setting for actor Niharica Raizada’s memorable excursion in Delhi. She was in the city to promote her upcoming film and embarked on a delightful gastronomic journey through Dilli Haat. Besides indulging in delectable culinary treasures representing different states of India, she checked out some cool stuff on display and spoke to us about her journey as well as food memories of the Capital.
A CUSTOMARY BIRTHDAY VISIT
While Delhi visits are mostly work-related for Raizada, the actor she tries to be here every year on her birthday on April 18. “I come to Delhi maybe four times a year and that too, just for only a day every time. I wish I could come more often, but I don’t have that many options to come because I don’t have that much work here. However, I definitely make it a point to come here on my birthday and follow my ritual of going to Hanuman Mandir (in Connaught Place) and sometimes Akshardham temple,” says the actor, who has majority of her family based in Delhi.
The actor who was born and brought up in Luxembourg, adds, “My naani has ten brothers and sisters and they live in Dwarka, Vasant Kunj, and Punjabi Bagh. In fact, my mom and dad got married in Punjabi Bagh only. Besides my family, I also have a few friends, who are mainly people I work with.”
DELHI FOOD IS WHAT I MISS THE MOST
Asked what all she likes about the city, and the IB 71 and Sooryavanshi actor says it’s the political vibe and food in Delhi that she connects with the most.
“I find people here very intellectual, driven and politically aware,” says the actor, adding , “Delhi food is what I truly love. And I miss this taste because you don’t get that anywhere else in the country. You also so much variety here. Even the smallest of thing like a gulab jamun cannot be made well anywhere else except in Delhi. Also, I absolutely love and miss yahan ke rajma chawal. That’s the most authentic you get in Delhi. I’ve tried all kinds of cuisines across the globe, but nothing like home-cooked rajma chawal.”
DELHI DARSHAN AND SLANGS
While strolling around Dilli Haat checking out stalls of various states and whatever shopping items were on display, Raizada goes down memory lane and gets nostalgic recalling her 2020 Delhi tour, which she took with her brother and father, when they had visited India from Europe.
“We went to the Parliament, and all the famous monuments like Red Fort, Jama Masjid and India Gate. I visited all of these old architectural beauties,” says the granddaughter of music composer O.P Nayyar.
Raizada, who was crowned Miss India UK in 2010 also picked up some local phrases, as she tells us, “You’d often hear Delhi people say, ‘You look totta (beautiful) or they call you ‘soni kudi’. In Delhi, when people speak Hindi, it’s very colloquial with a lot of apnapan. It’s more about the way it is said rather than the actual words.”
STREET SHOPPING IN THE CAPITAL
Besides lip-smacking food, the actor also shares her love for Delhi’s bustling markets and the shopping experiences she has had here as she admits being to most of these famous markets.
“I’ve checked out Sarojini Nagar, where you can buy a lot of great handbags and beautiful Indian crafted jewellery. Then, Palika Bazar is the place where you get a lot of interesting and well-priced items. From local markets to malls, I’ve seen everything in Delhi,” says the actor.